When it comes to taking care of your hair, it’s important to listen to the expert: abuela! After all, our grandmothers have seen more good and bad hair days than anybody else we know. And when we heed the collective wisdom of abuelitas from around the world, we can unlock traditions and secrets that have kept our ancestors looking young and beautiful for generations. From natural “hair superfoods” found deep in the forest to everyday items from the kitchen that work wonders on your curls, these home hair remedies and hair care tips from the wisest women we know will leave your locks looking elegant and glamorous.
Honey + Olive Oil
Honey and olive oil aren’t the first two ingredients of a delicious salad dressing. Okay, they are, but they also make a fantastic hair mask. This sticky remedy was first used by Ancient Greeks more than 2,500 years ago, who took great pride in sustaining long and luscious locks. Containing squalene and oleic acid, olive oil can help retain moisture, while honey works as an emollient and humectant, smoothing out hair and adding moisture. A honey hair mask with olive oil is an easy hair remedy that you can whip up at home. Simply combine three tablespoons of olive oil with one tablespoon of honey and whisk together to create a smooth paste. Apply when your hair is completely dry after a wash, cover with a shower cap for one hour, then rinse off with warm water.
Avocado + Egg
Native to Mexico and Central America, avocado is one of the most popular superfoods in the world, and a staple in abuela’s pantry. It’s also great for hair, especially when mixed with its partner on toast, egg whites. Avocados contain potassium and magnesium that keep hair smooth and shiny, while egg whites are full of biotin that is good for elasticity. It's a fantastic DIY hair mask to try at home. And don't forget about the egg yolk! Many abuelas swear by simply cracking an egg over the head and massaging into the hair to keep it looking shiny and healthy (pro tip: beat in a few drops of lemon juice to lessen the eggy smell before you try it). The only note of warning on eggs and avocado as DIY hair remedies is that these ingredients tend to stick in your hair, even after a thorough rinse-out. And if you use detergent to get them out, you might end up doing more damage than good to your locks.
We have to thank our Brazilian avós for Murumuru butter, an absolute miracle-worker for your hair and skin’s moisture levels. It’s a key ingredient in LatinUS Beauty’s Control Collection that’s been used by Brazilian women for generations. Originating from the Belém, the “metropolis of the Amazon,” this seed reduces frizz by penetrating the hair shaft and sealing cuticles, locking in moisture. We all know heat can play havoc with the hair. Murumuru butter also provides protection against the sun; it’s no wonder so many wise Amazonian abuelitas use it!
Does grandma reach for the coconut oil when she sees your tresses looking dry, dull, and generally not up to her expectations? It's no secret that coconut oil can do wonders for your mane. It works with all hair types, and especially for dry or frizzy hair, and is full of fatty acids that help improve texture, repair damaged hair, and restore hair health and shine. Abuela will also tell you that it can help soothe a dry, itchy scalp and even combat dandruff. For the best results, mix a half cup of coconut oil with one capsule of vitamin E oil. Heat until warm and massage onto your scalp. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight before rinsing out with water.
Cold Water Showers
There’s nothing like a hot shower at the end of a long day, but this relaxing routine may be causing unwanted hair damage. Back in the day, hot showers were harder to come by for abuela and her friends. This meant enduring cold showers every single day. While it might sound less comfortable, there are many benefits to cold shower therapy, including waking you up, boosting energy, and helping promote healthy hair by closing up hair cuticles and retaining moisture.
The Queen of Herbs
Found in rocky outcrops of the Himalayan Mountains, shatavari was nicknamed “one who possesses 100 spouses” for its apparent properties of boosting fertility and vitality. But, that’s not the only reason why Indian dadis recommend this ancestral root. Also known as “the queen of herbs,” shatavari is an ayurvedic medicine that can also uplift your hair. Lu’s Rescue Collection contains shatavari-Infused glycerin, sourced sustainably from India, in its shampoo, conditioner, and styling cream. This powerful natural hair remedy is rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins that work to restore hair visibly and naturally.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Are you tired of dry hair and brittle split ends? Abuela’s got your back (again). Apple cider vinegar is an age-old home remedy that is full of natural probiotics which are great for your gut. But did you know that it also works wonders for the hair? This rustic rinse lowers your scalp’s PH levels and, like cold showers, closes cuticles to seal in moisture. Mix four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water and pour the mixture on your hair after your usual shower routine. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing it out.
Would you like some mayo with that? Since good old mayo uses a few ingredients already featured on this list (eggs, olive oil, and vinegar), maybe it’s not such a weird idea to slather it in your hair once a week. A homemade mayonnaise hair mask is often used to add shine and strengthen your hair follicles, while also serving as a homemade remedy for dandruff. For all the good it does, mayo runs the same risks as avocado and eggs when it comes to getting it out of your hair, and extreme measures to remove it from your hair may result in unwanted hair damage.
Has abuela ever told you to go wash your hair with Coke? Turns out, she wasn’t loca. Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, a low PH that tightens your hair cuticles and adds smoothness and definition to your locks. Supposedly, the sugar in Coke also helps make hair look fuller. FYI, you can get the same results with natural ingredients when you use Lu! Just sayin’.
The Wonder Tree
Ancient Egyptians were one of many civilizations to utilize moringa seed oil, another superplant found in The Himalayas. Nicknamed “The Wonder Tree,” moringa seed is a sacred medicinal plant that, like shatavari, contains phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins that strengthen and rejuvenate hair. Get the benefits of moringa seed oil with Lu’s Freedom Collection.
Did gran make you onion tea for your cough? She might even have suggested onion juice to help with your hair loss. Onions have incredible anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help with hair growth and give your locks a healthy glow. As with so many of abuela's remedies, this one is backed by science. Check out this report from the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics on the benefits of onions for hair.
Whether she’s our abuela, granny, dadi, or grand-mère, we all know one truth: our grandmothers’ wisdom is sacred. When it comes to love, health, and even hair, no one knows better. What’s the go-to hair remedy that you learned from your abuela?